Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mountain Rescue

Friday night we had the fantastic idea to hike up South Boulder night. And by at night, I mean starting at 9:30pm and getting back...well whenever we get back. The trail is rated at "strenuous" and we had tried it once before (Danna, twice) but we failed to bring adequate water and food, so we thought we would have another go at it.

So here we are, all 7 of us,(plus Duke the dog), donned with headlamps on a basically moonless night, trudging off into "Cat Country" (Mountain lions). Exciting.

Everything went well. It was a nice cool evening. The pace started very quickly, but slowed even quicker when we arrived at the base of the mountain. From there it was a 1.2 mile hike and a 3,000 foot climb.

A little further up, Justin was startled by a strange man who gave us absolutely no warning of his presence. He had started hiking at 3pm that afternoon, had become lost, and now dehydrated, was heading down with light from his cellphone. We gave him a bottle of water and a flashlight (to be left at the trailhead) to aid his journey. He also mentioned that we may run into his buddy, who ran out of energy further up, and was sleeping on the trail.

So on we went.

About halfway up the mountain, Barrett and Cami became sufficiently exhausted to turn back around. But the rest of us kept climbing.

Up and up it went. It never seemed to stop. Here and there I would glance into the bushes, half expecting to see a random dude lying on a rock trying to grab some sleep.

At this point we're trying to conserve a little water to help this random person we were going to run into.

then it happened. Out of nowhere I heard a "HELLO??" And I knew it was him. But he didn't appear for another 5 minutes. Then suddenly I saw this guy, hair ruffled and covered in dirt, sitting up in the middle of the trail. He looked completely horrible, and asked for nothing but water. He looked worse than I had expected, so I turned to find Tami and Danna to grab my spare nalgene and an empty water bottle. We filled it full, and he chugged. He then told us that he had already called 911 and they were on the way. He also asked for a blanket, as he was visibly shivering.

The rescue team then called his phone, and he let Rachel, one of our friends and a nurse, talk to them. From then on if they called, Rachel would give them information and updates.

In the meantime, Tami have him dried papaya and we through all the clothes we had on him, and leaned against him to keep him warm. In the meantime, we gave updates to search and rescue every so often. Then they called and wanted someone to go to a clearing and see if we could locate their car, whose lights will be flashing. So down Justin and I went, about 200 feet down, until we found a giant boulder. We climbed upon it, and were presented with a view of the entire city. And way down below, a car with its lights flashing. So we flashed them back. Using our headlamps of course, and eventually they spotted us, and the car pulled away.

5 Minutes later we heard someone yelling for below, saying "Where is Rachel??" It was 1 man from search and rescue, and Justin and I led him up to where they were. From there the pros took over. Our victim, Nate, got up, and immediately threw up the water we gave him. (I had learned a few weeks prior, from the movie "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," that after being dehydrated you are supposed to slowly sip water). Unfortunately he blamed it all on my girlfriends papaya, which is incorrectly identified as apricot. Search and rescue wanted to give him and iv, but he refused it, saying that he would be ok to walk down.

So after 5 more guys showed up ("That was quite the hike, eh fellas?"), and we were questioned about the possibility of our dehydrated friends drinking more than they had said (uhh, probably) we headed up the mountain and left the pros do their job.

So we summited, had a great view of the city, then headed back down. Search and rescue and Nate had already headed down, and we never caught up with them. Though on the way down, we stopped, and someone said "uhh, wheres Duke??" Sure enough, the dog had dissappeared. This is not what I wanted to deal with, for it was now 230am and I just imagined the poor dog wandering around in the wilderness for days before eventually giving out and dying on the mountain. I didn't want that to happen. But Danna, his owner, was convinced that he had gone ahead of us to the car, and from my experience of losing dogs, "when they are lost, they go home." In this instance, the car would be home.

I was hoping she was right.

So sure enough, down at the base of the mountain, we crossed a small stream, and we noticed paw prints leading out of the water. There was a collective sigh of relief, especially when 20 minutes later, still a full 30 to 45 minutes from the car, Barrett and Cami called to say Duke had showed up.

So after that all went well. Got back to the car, back to the house, and into bed by 430. Just as Kelsie was getting up for work!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Fees Don't Fly

Here's one of our new ads. Not sure if you've seen it. I find it highly amusing. I like that fact that we're going back to our "edgier" roots.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Wild, Wild West

So I've obviously been on quite the western kick, after "Blood and Thunder", visiting Dodge City, seeing the movie Wyatt Earp (Awesome! and next Silverado!) and I just finished "Custer and Crazy Horse." At the moment, I don't think much of the "White Man." I just picked up "Trail of Tears." Yeah, that shouldn't help.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mt Shavano and FIBARK!

This past weekend I climbed my second 14er in Mount Shavano.
It wasn't easy, as we (Danna, Erin and I. Tami figured 1 week is not long enough before climbing a 14er, so she stayed home) got lost once due to snow covering the trail, and we had no idea even which peak we were trying to climb, as we arrived past dark the previous night. After we reached the top, a guy up there said he had climbed 12 of them, and this was the most difficult.

That evening we were met by the rest of the crew (including Tami, on her first CO camping trip!) ready to enjoy Fibark (first in boating the Arkansas). We camped that night, then headed into town for the festivities, which included tons of food, skateboarding, and of course lots of whitewater kayaking.

So anyways, as usual, I let the pics tell the story.

Grove of Aspens

Crossing a small creek

Danna trying to find the trail..which she did...unfortunately it wound around, right back into the snow.

Erin scrambling. After getting lost, we were just climbing UP. Right before climbing yet another false summit, I noticed the trail..WAY OUT YONDER.

We traversed the side of this mountain on the left, at 13,000ft, for quite a ways.

AHA! The peak.

View right before starting the peak

Made it!



The three of us

Got me some gaiters for the snow that had covered the trail. There was tons of it, and we continuously lost the trail, but we figured it out.

And here are the pictures from Fibark. First is the Hooligan Race, which is just some local idiots who build odd boats, some which barely float, and just end up breaking apart. Here are two boats that didn't make it through the rapids.

And the freestyle kayak competition. It was amazing what these guys can do, including front and backflips, sometimes without their head even touching the water!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mt Shavano and FIBARK!

So I just fixed my template..I was tired of the last one..enjoy. I'm going to post tomorrow on our trip to FIBARK and climbing Mt Shavano. for those of you who can't wait, go here:

Monday, June 09, 2008


Road trip with gas at $4.00/gallon? Well not just any road trip. A "halfway across the country-I'm moving my girlfriend to Denver" road trip. Tami already had her job, her condo, her new car, her new master's degree, and her new boyfriend, so now all she needed was to put it all together in this fantastic road trip.

It started on the last day of May, after I got off of work, I immediately hopped a flight down to Tampa, Fl. Meanwhile, Tami was leaving her brother's graduation from high school. More specifically his after party. With the minuscule Ody, her new Scion XD, packed to the roof with her belongings, she left Sarasota headed for the Tampa airport to pick me up. First stop would be Gainesville and the University of Florida, her undergraduate alma mater. After only a 2 hour drive, we checked into our hotel then headed to have dinner with her old friends, Hal and Cody.

The next day began the first long day. Well in fact we were making 2 long days, back to back, in a push to Dodge City, KS so we can have more time there before I had to be back at work. So the first full day was a long drive all the way to Memphis, TN and Barbecue. Our route took us along the panhandle and up the length of Alabama, cutting across the corner of Mississippi.

Just across the AL - MS border, we stopped at the awesome welcome center (good job MS!) and collapsed onto the lush grass under a tree, where pictures occurred.

After signing the ledger and grabbing our free cup of needed coffee, we finished off the last 2 hours to Memphis.

In Memphis we met up with an old friend Adam Forette who lives in downtown, and headed out for barbecue ribs. It's kind of nice to have someone to split expensive meals with. ;) Afterwards we found an outside bar and listened to a band play.

Adam and Sarah

Tami and I

Mississippi River from the top of the Peabody Hotel

That night we stayed at Adam's pad, and left at 5am the next morning for Dodge City. The route took us through Little Rock, where we stopped for breakfast with Dan Griswold. Unfortunately we were forced to temporarily abandon our "no chain restaurants" rule due to the closure of a diner and my unnatural yearning for stuffed french toast. Plus we didn't have all day to search for a restaurant in the area.

After getting through the ozarks, fighting the winds and tolls of Oklahoma and Kansas, we were just outside of Dodge City when I looked in the rearview mirror and saw a cop turning around to bust my girlfriend speeding. Oops.

We found it apt that we got the law slapped upon us in Dodge city.

If you don't know about Dodge City, its basically an old frontier town of the 1800s. Many famous lawmen lived there, including Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. It sits next to the Santa Fe Trail and was founded to protect wagons from American Indian attacks.

Anyways, we got a room in a bed and breakfast there, which was fantastic. The folks were SUPER friendly, the breakfast completely amazing, and the other guests, which included travel writers from different countries and a harley riding couple, were also cool.

The next day we spent the day exploring the town, going to the museum, seeing the gunfight outside the re-created front street, having a root beer (it was NOON!) at the recreated long branch saloon. It was so awesome that now Tami is on a Wild West kick like me and we're starting to rent all these western movies. (just finished the Good, bad, and the ugly)

We left town around 3, and stopped at a historical site where you can still see, over 150 years later, tracks in the ground from the Santa Fe Trail.

Tami's Bamboo Plant was not doing well

The Boot Hill Bed and Breakfast

Yup, thats me in a cowboy hat! What, Tami likes it!

Boot Hill Cemetary

Re-created front street

The Long Branch Saloon!

The Santa Fe Trail

Where the tracks used to (still are!) to be

That evening, after stopping in Colorado Springs for a minor league baseball game with Tim and Jo Inwood, we finally arrived in Denver over 2,000 miles later. We had a fantastic time, I tried licorice (and liked!) and Tami now eats sunflower seeds. Mission complete. ;)